We are all Keynesians now

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"We are all Keynesians now" is a famous phrase coined by Milton Friedman and attributed to U.S. president Richard Nixon. It is popularly associated with the reluctant embrace in a time of financial crisis of Keynesian economics by individuals such as Nixon who had formerly favored less interventionist policies.

History of the phrase[edit]

The phrase was first attributed to Milton Friedman in the December 31, 1965, edition of Time magazine.[1] In the February 4, 1966, edition, Friedman wrote a letter clarifying that his original statement had been "In one sense, we are all Keynesians now; in another, nobody is any longer a Keynesian."[2]

In 1971, after taking the United States off the gold standard,[3] Nixon was quoted as saying "I am now a Keynesian in economics",[4] which became popularly associated with Friedman's phrase.

In 2002, Peter Mandelson wrote an article in The Times declaring "we are all Thatcherites now", referring to the acceptance among the other political parties of Margaret Thatcher's economic policies.[5]

The phrase gained new life in the midst of the global financial crisis of 2008, when economists called for massive investment in infrastructure and job creation as a means of economic stimulation.[6][7]

After the 2012 Republican Iowa caucuses, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) publicly declared "We are all Austrians now," a play on his staunch support for fiscal conservatism and laissez faire economics and their rising popularity in the Republican Party.


  1. ^ "We Are All Keynesians Now". Time. December 31, 1965. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  2. ^ "Letter: Friedman & Keynes". Time. February 4, 1966. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  3. ^ Pearlstein, Steven (November 26, 2008). "Keynes on Steroids". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  4. ^ The New York Times, January 4, 1971
  5. ^ "Mandelson: we are all Thatcherites now". The Guardian. 10 June 2002. 
  6. ^ "We are all Keynesians now". The Boston Globe. November 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  7. ^ Fox, Justin (October 23, 2008). "The Comeback Keynes". Time. Retrieved 2008-12-16.